Major logistics services providers UPS and FedEx have publically applauded the adoption of the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a “single window” through which businesses can electronically transmit the data required by U.S. Government agencies to import or export cargo. An executive order on the ITDS was signed last week.
Carriers say the ITDS will streamline commerce. "This executive order will be beneficial to improving our supply chain efficiency and moving goods and services that cross our borders," said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. "This change will be particularly meaningful to our small and medium-sized customers that depend on global trade to grow their businesses and reach the 95 percent of consumers that live outside U.S. borders."
“These latest steps by the United States will cut bureaucracy and time-consuming paperwork for our customers, especially the small and medium businesses,” said Michael Ducker, President, International, FedEx Express. “We look forward to further trade facilitation efforts now in the process of being negotiated with key U.S. trading partners.”
The 2016 deadline for establishing a single electronic portal for data necessary for the U.S. government to clear exports and imports will slash bureaucratic red tape, the companies added.
ITDS assists Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) in identifying, documenting, and executing their plan to leverage the automated commerce environment (ACE) to improve business operations and further agency missions, according to its website. ITDS’ overarching goal is the utilization of the concept commonly known as the single window. The single window will provide the trade with the ACE functionality through which they can electronically submit all information to comply with CBP and other government regulations. The information would then be assessed electronically by the relevant government departments and agencies, resulting in border-related decisions which would be transmitted electronically back to the trade.
The ITDS strategy includes: enabling the development of PGA competence in using the ACE functionality built by CBP; assisting the PGAs with trade outreach so that the Trade understands its single window obligations to the PGAs; and representing PGA interests and requirements in future ACE developments for cargo release and exports.
To be successful, ITDS needs the full cooperation and support of other components of CBP, PGAs, and the trade community. Full realization of the single window requires dedicated financial resources and may require legislative and regulatory changes to transition from paper documents to electronic submissions.
To achieve these goals, ITDS is concentrating on: fostering the utilization of the PGA message set for imports through interactions with the PGAs and the trade; facilitating the inclusion of PGAs in the development of Cargo Release requirements; facilitating the PGAs in the harmonization of export data elements and documentation of export business process requirements; and managing the alignment of import and export data sets with the WCO data model and NIEM standards.